My daughters attend a private Christian school.
Because Christian schooling is the only educational option ordained by Almighty God. Children sent to public school will be swallowed and destroyed by secularism. Homeschooled kids will see their protective bubble burst when they finally set foot in the outside world. Any other choice is folly.
Only the first sentence of this blog is true. My seventh-grade daughters go to a private Christian school that we can afford only because I’m on staff. But my wife and I greatly admire homeschooling based on the research we’ve read and the homeschooled children we personally know, and many of our friends have wonderful kids who attend public school.
Unfortunately few topics generate more passion, opinion and tension among parents than school choice.
Yes, education is one of the most important decisions we make for our children’s development – especially spiritually.
But the reality is I’ve met few parents who see the merits of all sides of the educational landscape.
Here’s what I mean. When my kids approached schooling age, a friend tried to convince me that the Bible explicitly commands all Christians to home school their children, inferring that I would be disobeying God if I chose otherwise.
Another friend urged me to enroll my girls in public school. His argument was that God needs the children of all Christian parents to be salt and light in our “largest mission field” and public school would test and strengthen their young faith.
Other friends encouraged me to send them to Christian schools to protect them from secular influences during their formative years. Still others suggested Christian school to reinforce what we taught our kids at home until my wife and I determined their faith foundation and character were strong enough to thrive in a public school environment.
After prayer and research, my wife and I ultimately decided on the latter choice.
The key part of that decision was prayer and research.
It’s safe to say that God uses all three school options to further His kingdom. He directs some families to Christian schools, other families to home school and still others to public schools. He has a plan for each of our children’s lives and knows what situation is best for their growth, maturity and spiritual fruitfulness.
I think the proof is in the proverbial pudding. I won’t bore you by citing all the supposed pros and cons of each school option. Countless articles, blogs and books are already available. Plus, such findings don’t take into consideration individual public, private and home schools that are flourishing or languishing.
I can speak more confidently from a personal perspective, though. I know a number of homeschooled children who are outstanding students, walking with God and growing in His character. Hundreds of them participate in Summit each year. I can say the same thing about numerous public, Christian and private secular school students.
Why are these kids thriving? In most cases, the answer is:
2. Their parents.
I’ve met and known some homeschooled children through church and friends who were obnoxious – er, unrefined – spiritually indifferent to God and struggling academically. One was in my Awana handbook group and tested my patience to the breaking point. Same can be said for a lot of public- and private-school kids I know, too.
Are the parents to blame in these instances? In many cases no. We don’t know what goes on in every home, what issues the children have or what challenges face the parents.
However, whether we choose home, public or private school, the Bible is clear in Proverbs 22:6 and other verses that parents must be vigilant in leading our kids’ development – including their education. We need to be actively involved in our children’s academic learning to ensure they are growing in a biblical view of life. We also need to make sure they have age-appropriate opportunities to exercise their faith and grow in character at school and outside of school.
Bottom line: School choice is important. But what parents choose to do in their kids’ education after choosing a school is more important.